Although the development of cricket is very much on a high, there is still the problem of fielding a national team that is made up of eleven Batswana.
However, according to Girish Ramikrishna, the Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Cricket Association (BCA), Botswana is not far from reaching this milestone.
Ramikrishna says of those in the current national team, 70 percent are citizens and the balance is made up of non-citizens, a figure that has slowly gone down over the years.
“This is one of the reasons that prompted us to initiate a development programme that is aimed at grassroot level development for citizens,” he said.
The programme initially was not welcomed but this did not deter the BCA and their vision.
”We actually went ahead by focusing only on government primary school kids even though initially there was reluctance but today it is growing,” he added.
Ramikrishna says the BCA has 123 schools and nearly 6 500 kids under their development programme.
Their programme, which is based on building up the necessary structures at under 11, under 13, under 15 and under 17 age groups, has been well received across the country.
“Our programme also encompasses girls; every year, we have a league tournament for boys under 11, under 13 and girls under 13. One can see the results of that programme with our girls’ and boys’ teams,” he said.
The growth of cricket is shown by this weekend’s under 19 girls’ four nation tournament.
“It is a proud moment and historic one too for Botswana, we are hosting this tournament for the first time and all the girls are excited. They are raring to go and will be playing competitive cricket for the first time against Namibia, Swaziland and Mozambique,” he said.
The BCA has been credited by the African Cricket Council for having one of the best development programmes and has been recommended to other cricket associations.
The BCA recently took to Moshupa and, with the current plan to introduce cricket into all primary schools, there seems to be a great air of optimism for the ‘gentlemen’s game’ in Botswana.
The development of cricket in Botswana continues to receive praise.
With more and more cricketers being nurtured, it is all a matter of time before the nations harvests full results.